Tag Archives: Asian Youth Games

Tributes flow in for deceased YOG football coach David Sivalingam

Here is a compilation of tributes to the late David Sivalingam from members of the Singapore football fraternity.

They were taken from The Straits Times and The New Paper. Once again, my deepest sympathies and condolences to his family for their loss.

I hope they are able to find a little comfort in the wonderful memories that people have of him.

The tributes:

“Coach Siva is the other man I would look up to apart from my dad. I am extremely saddened by his death. I could really communicate with him and he treated all the AYG boys like his own sons. After every training, he would call our homes to make sure every player was back safe and sound. When we lost 1-4 to Thailand in the AYG, I was distraught. But coach Siva put his arm around me on the bus and told me that winning and losing is all part of this beautiful game called football. I will really miss his guidance.”

– National U-14 squad member and defender Dhukhilan Jeevamani

“Coach Siva is extremely passionate about football. Last Saturday morning, we had a COE (Centre of Excellence) league game against SAFFC (Singapore Armed Forces FC). We needed a win to go third in the table and we won 7-1. It was our biggest win of the season and we could tell how much it meant to our coach at the end of the game. He was so happy with our performance. But he also kept reminding us never to neglect our studies. He would allow us to miss training if we had exams.”

– National U-14 squad member and striker Syazwan Zin

“Siva was a coach who really knew how to blend in with the players. Even though we had went our separate ways after our Sembawang days, I remained close to him. He was such a funny character, who was always teasing the players and we felt that we could approach him to talk about anything. He had my total respect as a mentor and as a friend.”

–  National striker Noh Alam Shah who, as a rookie player at Sembawang Rangers, spent his formative years groomed by Sivalingam

“He creates such a happy mood whenever he is around and that is something we will miss in the FAS office.”

– National U-21 coach V. Sundramoorthy

“This is a sad loss for Singapore football. Sivalingam has been producing results for the youth teams. He won the Under-18 league with the National Football Academy side last year and this year, he did very well with the AYG team.”

– Lions goalkeeping coach Lee Bee Seng

He was with me for about six years in various coaching capacities. At one time, he was our first-team coach but he truly excelled in coaching the youths.”

– Teo Hock Seng, chairman, Tampines Rovers

“This is so sudden. I am so shocked. The team is very close to him. He is like a father. He has done so much for us. We are all very sad that we have lost our dear coach. He was always motivating us to perform beyond ourselves. He not only taught us how to play good football but also how to be good and responsible citizens. Whenever we did something wrong, he would never raise his voice at us. He would always take us aside and try to find out why we did what we did. He is a great person and we will miss him dearly.”

– National U-14 squad member and skipper Jeffrey Lightfoot.

Finally, here are some words from David himself which were taken from an interview in March 2009. It reveals his coaching philosophy and methods for dealing with youth footballers:

“These boys are like my children. When their parents entrust them to me, I have to look after them as they are all very young. I discipline them and make sure they don’t mix with the wrong company. When they get injured during training, I bring them to the hospital and stay with them even until 3am, make sure they’re fine. After training, I call to make sure that they have reached home safely. When students feel that we genuinely care for them, they will give of their best to the game.

– National U-14 coach David Sivalingam, RIP 1958 – 2009


David Sivalingam’s funeral is on 4 November (Wednesday). The cortege leaves at 3pm for a 3.30pm service at the Church of the Holy Trinity  in Tampines. Subsequently, it will travel to Mandai Crematorium Hall 3. The cremation is at 5pm.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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Newsflash: National U-14 coach and former Lion David Sivalingam dies suddenly

The Singapore football community was hit by tragedy today, just a month after football legend Dollah Kassim’s collapse from a heart attack.

National Football Academy Under-14 coach David Sivalingam died suddenly this evening after taking ill during a charity football game at the Indian Association.

The 51-year-old former national footballer who played for the Lions during the 80s and 90s (he was known as V. Sivalingam back then)  was playing in a match to raise funds for paralysed former national and Woodlands Wellington player S. Anthonysamy. Sivalingam had also helped to organise the match.

According to a press statement by the Football Association of Singapore, Sivalingam took ill 30 minutes into the match. A doctor tended to him immediately and he was then sent to Tan Tock Seng Hospital where he died.

The official cause of his death is still unknown.

FAS president Zainudin Nordin said: “We are all devastated by the news. Our condolences and thoughts are with Sivalingam’s family during this very difficult time and we will render all neccessary assistance in their time of need.”

Sivalingam, who coached the Singapore football team for the AYG, was also the head coach preparing the Singapore team for next year’s Youth Olympic Games. He leaves behind his wife Philomena Makii and three children.

Sivalingam’s passing comes a month after Dollah Kassim collapsed from a heart attack during a friendly game before the Sultan of Selangor Cup match. Since then, Dollah has not emerged from his coma.

However, he was taken out of the Intensive Care Unit early last week.

My deepest condolences, sympathies and prayers to Sivalingam’s family.


David Sivalingam’s funeral is on 4 November (Wednesday). The cortege leaves at 3pm for a 3.30pm service at the Church of the Holy Trinity  in Tampines. Subsequently, it will travel to Mandai Crematorium Hall 3. The cremation is at 5pm.


Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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Sports School athletes set two national athletics records at Thailand Sports School Games

The report:

Two Singapore Sports School students have broken national records at the track and field competition of the  Thailand Sports School Games. Hurdler Goh Wei Ning broke Dipna Lim-Prasad’s 100m hurdles record of 15.20sc when she clocked 15.08sec in the Girls U-16 final.

Then, Shanti Pereira broke Valerie Pereira’s national U-15 200m record f 26.05sec when she won the Girls U-14 gold in 26.03sec. Incidentally, Valerie is Shanti’s older sister.

The Singapore Sports Fan would like to congratulate Wei Ning and Shanti on their achievements. What is even more encouraging are their ages vis-a-vis the ages of the athletes whose records they broke.

Wei Ning just turned 15 but broke a record set by an 18-year-old (Dpina) while Shanti is only 13, compared to her sister wo was 14 when she set the national age-group mark.

Here’s the report which appeared in The Straits Times on Monday:


Wei Ning sets record to make amends

(The Straits Times, 10 Aug 2009)

By Gerard Wong

WHEN Goh Wei Ning did not get selected for the Asian Youth Games (AYG) three months ago, she cried her heart out for days.

The Singapore Sports School student lost the chance to compete in the girls’ 100m hurdles at the AYG, after she was beaten by CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School sprinter Inez Leong at the Schools National Track and Field Championships in April.

‘I was very disappointed, but the loss was also a wake-up call for me,’ said Wei Ning, who clocked 15.21sec in the B Division 100m hurdles final to finish second behind Inez (15.14sec). ‘It spurred me to train harder.’

All the hard training paid off on Saturday, when Wei Ning set a national junior record in the 100m hurdles at the Thailand Sports School Games.

The Secondary Three student, 15, sprinted to the gold in the girls’ Under-16 final in 15.08sec. The time shattered 18-year-old Dipna Lim Prasad’s record of 15.20sec, which was set at the South-east Asia Junior Athletics Championships in June.

Her school will be submitting the time to the SAA to be ratified as a new national junior mark.

‘I was confident of winning but I was stunned by the time,’ said Wei Ning, who won the U-14 gold last year.

 Her coach, Viatchelsav Vassiliev, was also pleasantly surprised.

 ‘From her training, I had expected her to clock about 15.2,’ said the Georgian. ‘This is a good boost for her because it ends her competitive season on a high note.

 ‘The new time will motivate her to go all out to qualify for next year’s Youth Olympics.’

 Wei Ning agreed.

 ‘I lost the chance to compete in the AYG, so I am determined not to miss out on the biggest one that Singapore will be hosting,’ she said.

 Wei Ning was not the only national record breaker on Saturday.

 Sports School Secondary One student Shanti Pereira, 13, won the girls’ U-14 200m final in 26.03sec to break the national U-15 record of 26.05 by a whisker. That record was set by her older sister, Valerie, in 2004.


Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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